UK Mail 2

UK Mail Group has reported an increase in both parcel volumes and turnover in its mail business for the third quarter of its current financial year.

In its interim management statement covering 1 October to 31 December 2013, the operator said parcel volumes grew 15% compared with the same period in 2012, driven by an increase in home deliveries and a continuing shift towards B2C volumes as it had seen in the first half of the year.

It said it invested heavily in its network to ensure it was able to handle peak volumes, which chief executive Guy Buswell said came much later than usual.

UK Mail also saw an increase in mail volumes, despite the industry-wide trend that volumes are declining. It said this was due to customer retention and winning new contracts.

Group like-for-like turnover rose by 6% in the quarter, in line with expectations.

Both its courier and pallet businesses saw declines in turnover as expected, but it vowed to continue to invest in UK Pallets to help sales levels return to their previous levels.

Chief executive Guy Buswell also revealed plans for a one-hour delivery window service, likely to be introduced in the spring.

“I am pleased to report that we have again performed well during our peak Christmas trading period, maintaining our strong customer service levels even as volumes continued to increase,” said Buswell. “This underlines the importance of our leading consumer-friendly services in which we continue to invest.”

The company last month received planning permission to relocate its hub to Coventry next year.